'Paul always said he wanted justice': Northampton family pays tribute as killer is jailed

Paul Smith.
Paul Smith.

Paul Smith’s family have paid tribute to him after the man who attacked their son, brother and father was sent to prison for 10 years.

Courtney Flanagan was sentenced on Tuesday after pleading guilty to manslaughter.

Mr Smith, 49, of Kings Heath suffered a head injury in an assault at the Edge of Town pub in Regent Square, on July 10 last year. He died in hospital nearly two months later, on September 4, 2016.

Flanagan was also convicted of one count of attempted GBH with intent on one of Mr Smith’s friends and one count of ABH against another man, both at the Edge of Town pub, on July 10, 2016, and one count of GBH that took place on June 19, 2015 in St Leonards Road, Northampton.

His Honour Judge Thomas QC gave Flanagan a 10-year custodial sentence with a three-year extension, having found him to be a ‘dangerous person’ in law.

People who knew Paul said he was an incredibly well-liked man.

Andrea Trueman, secretary of Northampton Working Mens Club said: “We paid a tribute to Paul last year, in November, and held his funeral later this year, and on both occasions over 300 people attended the venue to pay respect to Paul.

“It shows how many friends Paul did have and how much everyone cared about him.”

Thanking the police and Victim Support, Paul’s sister, Nicola, said: “Paul was a loving son, brother and father and he brightened everybody’s heart that he touched. Paul has left a huge void in his family and friends’ hearts. He is so greatly missed every day but we have our beautiful memories of him that nobody can take away from us.”

The family said no amount of time in jail for Flanagan would justify the taking of Paul’s life but felt the judge did all he could.

Nicola said: “Paul always said he wanted justice and that was something that he held on to until the end.

“We think justice has been done to the maximum amount of sentencing that the judge felt he could impose.

“Of course we would have liked it to be that he serves the full 10 years rather than the fact that he may only serve two-thirds of this.”

The family said they never dreamed something like this could happen to Paul, and them.

Nicola said: “You often read about crimes in your local area but just flick through them as they now have sadly become a common reality in our daily lives.

“This has sadly become a reality that hit us all as a family. Paul was unfortunately in the wrong place at the wrong time.